You Asked—We Answered! Rosacea Questions Revealed
April is Rosacea Awareness Month, and if you don’t know what rosacea is, consider yourself lucky. Over 2 million people in Canada suffer from this chronic facial skin condition, which is characterized by symptoms including persistent redness, dryness, irritation, and pimple-like bumps. In other words, it’s not fun in the sun.
At Compass Dermatology, we often get questions about rosacea, sometimes from people who have suffered for years without knowing what was causing their skin issues. Here are five of our most frequently asked questions about rosacea, along with answers from our resident experts, Dr. Julia Carroll and Dr. Sonya Cook.
Q: Will my rosacea ever go away?
A: Rosacea is a chronic condition that tends to wax and wane in response to various trigger factors. Although there is no cure for rosacea, we are able to control it in most cases by means of lifestyle changes and the use of various topical and oral agents.
Q: What helps with redness from rosacea?
A: A multi-pronged strategy can help with redness from rosacea:
- Sun avoidance and sun protection
- Trigger avoidance
- Energy-based light and laser treatments (we love BroadBand Light!)
- Certain prescription medications
- Cosmetics and medical-grade camouflage makeup to temporarily improve appearance
Q: My rosacea flares up all the time, and I have no idea why. What might be triggering it?
A: The most common rosacea triggers include heat, cold, and spicy foods, but it’s very individual. Other triggers can be acidic foods such as tomatoes, alcohol, exercise, and stress or anxiety. When you are first diagnosed with rosacea, consider keeping a journal of foods, activities, and rosacea flares. This can be helpful in narrowing down your specific triggers.
Q: Does rosacea get better with age… or worse?
A: In some cases, it does worsen with age—while in other cases, it can actually burn out with age. It’s very hard to predict the course of rosacea in any one person. It’s believed that with gentle skincare, great sun protection and avoidance, minimizing of triggers (e.g., alcohol, stress, spicy foods, etc.), and good topical prescription therapy from your dermatologist, rosacea can be held in check without worsening over time.
Q: It’s so hard to find products that won’t cause flare-ups. What do you recommend for people with rosacea?
A: With rosacea, we recommend the KISS approach—keep it super simple.
- I recommend a gentle cleanser that is not foaming. Alastin’s Gentle Cleanser is great.
- It’s best to avoid retinol or products with acids, as well as benzoyl peroxide. Once your skin is under control, with the help of one of our dermatologists, you may be able to introduce some of these acid products into your routine.
- Serums with hyaluronic acid are very hydrating and well-tolerated in rosacea-prone skin. SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel is not only hydrating but also very soothing and helps reduce redness with some targeted botanical ingredients.
- A calming moisturizer is essential to protect rosacea-prone skin. Alumier’s HydraCalm is a top recommendation in our practice because it’s hydrating, gentle, and also contains niacinamide, which helps with redness.
- If you’re looking to add a positive-aging product to your routine, we recommend starting with Neocutis Bio Serum Firm. It’s gentle on the skin but adds the power of peptides and growth factors.
And of course, the most important ingredient to add to your routine is daily sunscreen of at least SPF 30. At Compass Dermatology, we believe there is a sunscreen for everyone—and we’re happy to help you find your match.
Improve Skin Tone and Redness with BBL
For people with rosacea and other sensitive skin concerns, we recommend BroadBand Light (BBL). It’s a gentle yet powerful treatment that uses high-intensity light to produce a more even skin tone. April is a great time to schedule a BBL session, so contact us today to see if this is right for you.
Our blog is dedicated to all the latest news from Compass Dermatology, a boutique dermatology clinic located in Toronto.
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650 Mount Pleasant Rd #8
Toronto, ON M4S 2N5, Canada
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